Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection, a collection that has been collected over the past 10 years, is currently on display until 3 February 2019. The Art Museum is still a young institution and although the museum continues to show a steady growth in its collection, definite gaps still exist within the collection of South African art. The Permanent Collection is devoted exclusively to works produced by South African artists.
Additions to the Permanent Collection took place between 2009 and 2018 and is an eclectic mix of media and technical approaches representing different art movements. The amount and quality of the acquisitions and donations over the past 10 years have created a range of overlapping themes within the exhibition. The collection is made up of 1467 works in total but only 77 of them are currently on display to the public.
The curator of Oliewenhuis, Ester le Roux, told Bloemfontein Courant that most of the artwork in this collection is about history and the City of Roses itself as it is very important for the museum to acknowledge local talent. ”We collect artwork in order to exhibit it for the people of South Africa. Some pieces were donated and others were purchased.”
Le Roux explained that a purchase does not just happen, it has to go through a panel. She further said that all the artwork in this collection is by South African artists or artists who have a strong connection to South Africa.
“All the artwork is layered, it’s not just about one thing, each piece tells an interesting story. The rooms in the museum where the artwork is currently being exhibited can roughly be broken up into themes. The first room is about war, power and politics. The next room is where visitors will find work that touches on gender issues and humanity,” she added.
Most of the artwork in this collection is contemporary but here and there they have tried to bring in iconic artists.
Residents and visitors of Bloemfontein are urged to go and view the beautiful artwork at the museum. The museum is open from 8:00 to 17:00 during the week and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 to 16:00. – Sazly Hartzenberg